Why Are Applicant Tracking Systems Important

published on 25 September 2022

By using an applicant tracking system (ATS) as a tool, employers are able to evaluate potential hires more effectively. This article will go into detail about why ATSs are important and how they work.

If you are looking to advance your career or find new opportunities, it is necessary to know why ATSs exist and how to use them. An ATS cannot do anything for you unless you put systems in place to utilize it, but this isn’t always easy when there are so many options out there!

There is one major advantage to using an ATS though – cost. Companies create these software programs free of charge, so it does not make sense to not include one in your arsenal.

A win for everyone involved


A few years ago, people used paper applications to apply for job openings. Applicants had to print out an application, fill in all of the necessary information, and then either mail or drop off their application at a designated location.

Now, with the advent of online employment opportunities, employers have made it easy to apply without having to physically send out a paper application. You can create an account through their website, supply your personal details, and be matched up with a job opening that fits you!

This has become very common now since most companies use some type of applicant tracking system (ATS) to manage their hiring process. Employers use these systems to screen applicants quickly and efficiently.

Interactive applications make the screening process much faster because employers don’t have to read through a long document looking for specific answers. These ATSs also help keep track of all applications- something that must happen when running a business.

How an employer benefits


Recent developments in online employment applications have made it increasingly difficult for employers to quickly review your qualifications without using an applicant tracking system (ATS).

Employers use ATSs to gather information about you, such as your resume, educational records, past job experiences, and references. This saves them time since they are no longer required to access each piece of information themselves or find someone who can help them assess it.

By having this automated process, companies can save money and valuable resources. They may even refer you directly to another position that is vacant!

Many people complain about ATSs because they feel their personal details are being viewed publicly, but there are ways to manage this. You can choose to only make some parts of your profile public while hiding others, so check out how individual systems work before creating yours.

Some ATSs will ask for more detailed information than other sites, which can be uncomfortable for some.

What it means for job applicants


Even if you have an excellent career, no one will connect with your current job profile unless it matches what they are looking for at the time of application! This is why it is so important to update your resume consistently.

As we mentioned before, most ATS systems use algorithms to scan resumes quickly. These scanning engines compare your experience to their database of jobs and determine how relevant your skills are. If there is not enough similarity, then the system will discard your resume completely.

This can be very frustrating as you invest time in creating your best possible resume – only for it to be ignored. It is important to note that even though this feels bad, it is totally unavoidable.

The ATSs algorithm works by comparing real-life situations to experiences, not just formal education or positions. This makes it more difficult to match up credentials, which is another reason why your resume could get discarded.

Luckily, there are ways to fix this. The first step is to make sure your resume is consistent across departments, companies, and years. This way, the ATS won’t know where to look for matching information.

Second, do some research and find out what position openings exist at your top candidates. Chances are, these people already used ATS software, and thus, they included extra documents, examples, or notes about themselves.

How ATSs look at job applications 


A few years back, not many employers used applicant tracking systems (ATSs). Now they are very popular as a way to manage applications, recruit candidates, and find qualified applicants.

Many large companies use them as their standard application process. They have become so common that some of the major hiring sources such as The Ladders and Monster make it easy for employers to search through these ATSs.

Because most ATSs were designed and optimized for internal recruiting purposes, some people may feel that they do not understand the system well enough to create a good profile. This can be frustrating for both applicants and potential employers.

Applicant profiling is an important part of using an ATS effectively. If you don’t know what qualities and skills matter to a company, then it will take you longer to apply and there is a risk that you won’t receive any responses.

Some examples of things that could affect your employment chances include whether someone lists a hobby that costs money or none at all, how long it took to write a letter, if they list something like “team player”, or whether they refer to themselves as being in the army or special forces.

Know how to work the software of the ATS


Another key reason why you should use an ATS is because most offer basic applications as free services. This includes offering user's login credentials so they can access the system, giving you full access to all of their functions.

Most ATS’s also allow you to add your own apps or extensions which are paid products that give you additional features. For example, some will have drop-off form tools or eligibility checks built in, while others will have tracking software or survey creating programs.

Practice using the system until you know all of its ins and outs


A few years ago, most employers didn’t use applicant tracking systems (ATSs). They were expensive and time consuming to use, which is why many small businesses don't have one now!

But these tools are no longer considered luxury items for top talent-retention programs.

In fact, nearly half of HR professionals report that their organization uses an ATS, and nearly two in five say theirs has more than 10,000 applications under it. That's significant because most ATS providers offer premium features like matching apps, career paths, and even mobile access.

What makes this tool so attractive to hiring managers is that it removes the need to manually review each application. This cuts down on human error and gives you more time to focus on other things.

It also helps streamline the recruitment process by making it quick and easy to find candidates, compare them, and make a hire. Some ATSs can even automate the interview process!

Sadly though, not everyone who needs a job will use your ATS as an opportunity to showcase their skills. For those people, the cost of applying without an ATS may be too high - especially if they're paying out of pocket.

So, what can we do? If you're in charge of finding new hires, giving applicants the option to apply through an ATS or non-ATS source could hurt your team. Luckily, there are ways to mitigate the damage.

To conclude


A few years ago, there was no need for most employers to have an ATS. Companies that were looking to increase their applicant pool or streamline their recruitment process didn’t use one.

Now though, they are almost mandatory. Finding staff is like finding a lost puppy – you start by scanning the internet for tips and then move onto word of mouth before giving up and going door-to-door.

That isn’t always effective however so many recruiters now employ automated software programs that help them find new employees more efficiently.

These tools do all the work for you by screening applicants, gathering information about them, matching candidates with positions, and even contacting potential hires for interviews.

While some people may feel overwhelmed by how much technology plays in today’s workplace, it can be a valuable asset if used properly. It has made our jobs easier and faster, which gives us the chance to spend time doing something we want to do instead of chasing after the next big thing.

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